Musings: Another Century’s Episode 3 OST
It’s been a full 3 years since I last played this crazy mashup of a game but every so often a track or two from the ost plays on my media player so here’s some random musings and half a review!
I figured this game really doesn’t need any more of an intro than that picture just above – lots of big robots from many universes get warped to a common world where they fight against a bigger evil enemy. Yep you heard right, this is a game where you can settle that cross-universe dispute: Can Domon deflect Turn A’s nuke? For a mecha fan like me, that pretty much means a must get . And so, with ottocycle’s language help, we somehow managed to decipher the control system while utterly failing at the tutorial and started playing ACE3’s epic storyline which I unfortunately was unable to understand.
Onto the music! The version I have is a game recording and there are no song titles so I will be giving out arbitrary track names so that it is easier to organize my thoughts around them.
ACE3 starts off with what is easily the best of the entire soundtrack that is unfortunately only 48 seconds long. It is also the simplest rendition of a recurring anthem that gives the game a feeling of continuity despite the very contrasting mashup of mecha (Heero shooting his massive world-ending cannon at Domon’s shining finger just doesn’t compute).
Lost in menus (Track 2)
The first 30 seconds of this track sounds exactly like what a standard boring unremarkable game menu bgm would sound like. However, what comes after is well worth the wait. There is some sort of buildup where the layering gets crazier and crazier until the recurring main theme breaks through. It’s as if the song is hurrying you to finish with the menus and get on to the real game!
Another track that gets better if you wait a while for the dull standard fare intro to be over. When the brass comes in, it’s as if the song has completely changed, still keeping the mysterious feel but becoming much grander. I found track 7 and 9 to be strange anomalies in the ACE3 ost as although they fit the game, the instruments used are quite different from what you hear in most of the sountrack. That being said, I liked this one very much.
Heavy use of synthesised choral voices will be jarring to some so beware. Track 9 doesn’t have the buildup and climax of track 2 and 7 but its a nice all-rounded song with a pleasant tune.
Track 18 featured in the recent Another Century’s Episode R PV2 so there’ll be a fair few mecha fanatics out there who will recognize it and drool. The song jumps straight into tension and urgency without so much as a second of introduction and sustains this all through to the abrupt end. Although standalone listening will probably make you weary after a minute or so, Track 18 is outstanding in-game. This is the type of music I want playing in the background when I’m launching 100 missiles at a really fast eureka 7 boss while dodging the 100 missiles it launched in reply.
Synthesizer version of Track 50. Not much else to say.
Similar to track 2, Track 22 starts off as a run-of-the-mill bgm that becomes reasonably epic once the main tune comes to play. What was strange is the hollow ending which seemed fairly abrupt. (At least it had a proper ending though)
Mission Start (Track 19)
Most of the soundtrack is made up of songs like this so I decided to pick the best one to feature here. The track runs through feelings of unknown, exploration, chase in quick succession then a lull just before launching into grandeur. Pacing is a problem though, and the song is just too hasty for comfortable standalone listening.
Shinku A.C.E.3 version (Opening CGI)
Shinku isn’t particular amazing but the singer’s style of songs matches very well with mecha action, making it a pretty good choice for ACE3’s opening movie. When me, ottocycle and shinchange first saw this video, we had our jaws on the floor and our brains turned into mush in anticipation. Ah the good/bad times of heated jungle warfare during the day and heated mecha battles at night…
The ACE3 ost is a fairly solid soundtrack but you’ll need to wade through the sea of similar-sounding fast-paced pieces to find the gems. They do their job very well though so I’m hard-pressed to give it a fair score especially after flying around in my favourite valkyrie fighter to the tunes of Track 18. Mechapot gives this unreleased soundtrack a 2 out of 5.